|NZXT Alpha Classical Series Mid-Tower Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Chip Terrell - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 05 May 2008|
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Closer Look: NZXT Alpha Exterior
I opted to skip the ubiquitous picture of the product in it's shipping carton for this review, you can thank me later. The box was made of high quality Chinese cardboard (Isn't that an oxymoron?) and well labeled leaving no doubt of the contents or the products dimensions and features. The carton was simple in it's presentation of what was inside leaving one the impression that NZXT expected their product to be bought on reputation, and not because of fancy packaging.
The Alpha comes well protected with polystyrene inserts on both ends and completely encased in shipping plastic insuring NZXT's product arrives to your home in pristine condition.
This image reveals that under the polystyrene inserts and outer plastic bag, is a surface protecting film to prevent scratches to the windowed side door and front panel before the consumer receives the product. A final thorough touch by NZXT assuring the case's vulnerable areas are unscathed during production and before shipping.
The Alpha with all it's shipping protection removed. The frame and body of the case are made of steel while the front bezel is made of plastic and the side panel window and front LED effect consist of acrylic. A nice, sleek looking product with it's glossy black finish and highly reflective front bezel. NZXT chose to add a blue LED effect that's reflected by the clear acrylic ring around the perimeter of the front bezel, as well as a blue LED fan in the window that makes this case a real eye catcher. For some reason, when I look at the Alpha, I think of Star Wars!
Side view showing the revealed interior. Nothing fancy here, except for the nice beveled edge of the component window. In many ways this is still a very typical case design, and not too far from the industry design pattern for standardized ATX cases.
Here is a close up of the front IO panel located on the bottom front right side of the case. At the top is the very cool E-SATA port followed by microphone and headphone jacks, and dual 2.0 USB ports. The e-SATA connectivity is very useful and advanced, certainly an upgrade for a case in the Alpha's price range and market segment. The edge of the front acrylic ring can be seen to the left of the IO panel in this image.
The Alpha as viewed from behind. Standard fair, and really, this could be a picture of the rear of just about any entry level to mid-range case offering on the market today. The interior allows for the top power supply bay to accomodate oversized units but other than that nothing exceptional or innovative. Note the thumb screws at the right edge, and the lack of options for water cooling solutions. Instead of water cooling grommets, NZXT opted for an additional unfiltered ventilation grill to the right of the PCI slots.
No wheels here, nothing fancy or innovative, just classic hard rubber feet that provide ample, stable support. Note there is no option for any ventilation or cooling solutions in the floor of this case. Also note the rivet construction that allows for frame flexibility if the case's structure is stressed during moving or transport.